Carpentry College Program Information

College programs in carpentry are designed for individuals wishing to enter the construction industry as carpenters and carpenters' helpers. Certificate and associate's degrees in carpentry are offered at some community and technical colleges.

Essential Information

Carpentry programs at the certificate and associate's degree levels provide education in basic carpentry practices. Those wishing to obtain a more advanced degree can pursue a bachelor's degree in construction management or building construction management. Hands-on training is an essential part of all of these programs.

  • Program Levels in Carpentry: Certificates, Associate's, Bachelor's
  • Program Length: 25-30 credits for certificates; associate's degrees generally require two years of study
  • Other Requirements: Internships are commonly required

Certificate in Carpentry

Programs leading to a certificate in carpentry prepare students to use a variety of tools, read blueprints and develop skills in rough framing of walls, floors and roofs. Carpentry certificate programs generally take between 25 and 30 credit hours to complete. The curriculum of a carpentry certificate program focuses on fundamental concepts and techniques. Program coursework will include:

  • Basic carpentry practices
  • Basic finish carpentry
  • Framing fundamentals
  • Use of basic hand and power tools
  • Carpentry safety
  • Blueprint reading

Associate's Degree in Carpentry

Associate's degree programs in carpentry are 2-year degree plans that teach various theories, techniques and applications used in the building trades. These programs typically lead to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Graduates are prepared for entry-level jobs as carpenters, finish carpenters, home remodelers, framers and woodworkers.

The program coursework for an associate's degree program in carpentry helps students to increase their carpentry, framing, siding, finishing and roofing skills. In addition to more advanced courses in some of the carpentry topics found in a certificate program, the curriculum might include:

  • Building materials
  • Remodeling theories
  • Small business management
  • Carpentry mathematics
  • Building codes
  • Carpentry practicum

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a carpentry certificate program are qualified to begin work as carpenters' helpers or apprentices for construction companies, government agencies, manufacturing companies or for self-employed carpenters. One can specialize in a particular area of carpentry, such as:

  • Framing
  • Cabinet making
  • Furniture making
  • Finish carpentry

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

An expected steady demand for home remodeling and other construction projects will result in a 24% increase in the employment of carpenters between 2012 and 2022, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is faster than average. In May 2014, carpenters earned a median hourly wage of $19.63.

Continuing Education Information

While there are currently no advanced programs in carpentry available, students seeking to obtain a bachelor's degree can major in construction management. These programs focus on carpentry and construction methods, analysis and design. Courses in project management, staffing, cost estimating and site preparation are part of some 4-year degree programs. Some colleges and universities also offer a master's degree in this field.

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